JLab Newsletter: e-OnTarget - November 28, 2006

Jefferson Lab-processed cavity for International Linear Collider tops recent tests
The next big machine planned for construction in high-energy particle physics is the International Linear Collider (ILC), based on superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) cavity technology.

 

JLab's Free-Electron Laser catapults beyond 10-kilowatt design goal
Jefferson Lab's Free-Electron Laser recently catapulted over its 10-kilowatt goal to produce 14.2 kilowatts of infrared laser light at 1.61 microns, a color of light of interest for exploring a wide range of applications, including defense and manufacturing technologies and scientific studies in chemistry, physics, biology and medicine.

Jefferson Lab unveils new logo
With the change of contractor to Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, came the opportunity to redesign the Jefferson Lab logo, Lab Director Christoph Leemann announced in a Nov. 8, 2006, memo.

Program Advisory Committee posts PAC 30 Report; Call for proposals made for PAC 31
Jefferson Lab's Program Advisory Committee (PAC 30) met August 21-26 at JLab. The group's charge, from JLab Director Christoph Leemann, was to review and make recommendations regarding 22 experiment proposals.

Legal update: How to maximize the return on intellectual property assets at Jefferson Lab
A few years ago, the Legal office wrote an article to answer a few often-asked questions regarding intellectual property topics at Jefferson Lab. It's time to re-run those questions and answers and to respond to new queries.

The latest results and current experiments now easy to find on JLab's web page
Research Highlight summaries from physics experiments done at JLab by users and staff are now available from the first link in the left-hand column on JLab's main web page.

Jefferson Lab 2007 Graduate Fellowship and Sabbatical opportunities
Jefferson Science Associates, LLC (JSA), a Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) corporation, plans to award eight fellowships in March 2007.

Share your holiday creativity: Enter the first annual Snowman Contest
The Jefferson Lab Activities Group (JAG) invites everyone at the Lab to participate in the Decorate Your Snowman Contest this holiday season.

JLab kids, parents: Join the fun at Frosty's Playground on Dec. 9
The JLab Children's Holiday Party -- dubbed Frosty's Playground this year -- is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CEBAF Center lobby.

Toys for Tots toy drive gets underway at JLab
The U.S. Marine Corps' 2006 Toys for Tots holiday toy drive is underway.

Milestones for October and November
Milestone entries posted by Human Resources.

DOE/EPA Release Top Fuel Economy Lists for 2007 Models
During October, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2007 Fuel Economy Guide to help consumers make well-informed choices when purchasing new vehicles.

Department of Energy Releases Strategic Plan to Address Energy Challenges
In October, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman released the Department's five-year strategic plan on the Department of Energy's role in powering and securing the United State's energy future.

DOE-Supported Researcher Is Co-Winner of 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics
In early October, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman congratulated Dr. George F. Smoot of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. John C. Mather of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for co-winning the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Department of Energy to Compete Management and Operating Contracts for Three Office of Science Laboratories
On Nov. 17, 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its plans to compete the management and operating (M&O) contracts for three of its Office of Science national laboratories over the next 18 months.

Jefferson Lab-processed cavity for International Linear Collider tops recent tests (top ^)

The next big machine planned for construction in high-energy particle physics is the International Linear Collider (ILC), based on superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) cavity technology. The ILC project is now in the research and development phase, and ILC project leadership has tapped Jefferson Lab's world-class expertise in SRF technology to assist in validating the baseline ILC cavity processing methodology.

This modified graph shows the performance of the very first ILC accelerator cavity tested at Jefferson Lab compared to DESY's best-performing cavities. The original graph was produced by Lutz Lilje, an ILC Global Design Effort member at DESY.

Results for the first ILC component to be entirely processed and tested at JLab are in, and they reveal that JLab's capabilities are at the leading edge of accelerator technology. As shown in the graph at left, the cavity exceeds the performance of top-performing components being produced now at DESY (denoted by "4 EP process" in graph) and is topped only by DESY's very best record-breaking cavities. These phenomenal results show that JLab's cavity preparation program remains at the leading edge of accelerator technology and is capable of preparing top-quality cavities for the ongoing ILC R&D effort. For more on JLab's cavity preparation process and the ILC, see the new Jefferson Lab front page story.

JLab's Free-Electron Laser catapults beyond 10-kilowatt design goal (top ^)

Members of the Free-Electron Laser team staff the FEL control room as they push the laser toward 14 kW.

Jefferson Lab's Free-Electron Laser recently catapulted over its 10-kilowatt goal to produce 14.2 kilowatts of infrared laser light at 1.61 microns, a color of light of interest for exploring a wide range of applications, including defense and manufacturing technologies and scientific studies in chemistry, physics, biology and medicine.

You can buy or build a pretty powerful conventional laser at a single color of light. But if you want a laser boasting the highest-average powers ever achieved at infrared wavelengths and tunable to other colors of light at lower powers, your best bet is a free-electron laser (FEL).

Jefferson Lab's FEL was built using the Lab's expertise in accelerating electrons with superconducting radiofrequency technology. These electrons are free, having been stripped from their atoms. The FEL manipulates these free electrons to produce a color-tunable beam of laser light.

The process starts in the injector, where a 12-year-old conventional laser drums a stream of electrons out of the atoms in a photocathode, a wafer of electrically charged material. The newly freed electrons travel through a copper accelerator cavity of half-century-old design, whose job is to bunch the electrons into well-proscribed packets before they're sent into the first of 26 JLab-designed niobium cavities in the FEL's linear accelerator.

Inside the accelerator, energy is pumped into the electrons by radio waves. The electrons are then sent into the permanent-magnet wiggler, now in its third design iteration in two years. As the electrons stream through the wiggler, they encounter the magnetic fields emanating from an alternating series of magnets' north and south poles, sending the electrons into a slalom through the wiggler and forcing them to give off photons, particles of light, at each turn.

The photons slam into each of two mirrors on either end of the wiggler. All the photons bounce off the first mirror, and as many as one in five will approach the second mirror at just the right angle and at just the right spot to go right through it and become a part of the laser beam.

The FEL team spent two years designing, building and commissioning the newest FEL upgrade, incorporating hundreds of technical solutions to eventually hurtle the FEL from its status as a 10 kilowatt infrared laser to a machine capable of producing 40 percent more laser light than it was designed for - topping out in recent tests at 14.2 kilowatts.

Jefferson Lab unveils new logo (top ^)

With the change of contractor to Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, came the opportunity to redesign the Jefferson Lab logo, Lab Director Christoph Leemann announced in a Nov. 8, 2006, memo.

The former Jefferson Lab logo (with the five-celled cavity) was designed in 1996 to reflect the Lab's name change from the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and to feature the Lab's superconducting niobium cavities. "With the change of contractor to JSA, comes the opportunity to update the Jefferson Lab logo," notes Public Affairs Manager Linda Ware.

The new logo in downloadable, in various formats for a variety of purposes, at http://www.jlab.org//div_dept/dir_off/public_affairs/logo/, including a PowerPoint template that should be used for all presentations, the logo in color and reversed for use on black backgrounds, a fax cover page, a business card template and correspondence letterhead. Changes to signs and other high-cost items will be completed as practicable in the new year.

The new logo was developed by JLab's Graphic Artist Joanna Griffin and Multimedia Specialist Greg Adams. Questions regarding use of the new logo should be directed to Linda Ware, Public Affairs Manager at ware@jlab.org or at (757) 269-7689.

Program Advisory Committee posts PAC 30 Report; Call for proposals made for PAC 31 (top ^)

During the PAC 30 closeout meeting, Berthold Schoch, Jefferson Program Advisory Committee (PAC) Chairman, discusses the many experiment proposals reviewed and rated during the 5-day meeting. Schoch, with the University of Bonn Physics Institute, has served as Chair since PAC 25 (January 2004).

Jefferson Lab's Program Advisory Committee (PAC 30) met August 21-26 at JLab. The group's charge, from JLab Director Christoph Leemann, was to review and make recommendations regarding 22 experiment proposals and eight letters of intent for experiments that will use the base equipment planned for the 12 GeV Upgrade to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF), and three proposals and one letter of intent for running low-energy (<5 GeV) beams in Hall B. This was the first PAC to review formal experiment proposals based on the scientific program, capabilities and equipment planned for the 12 GeV (billion electron volt) Upgrade.

In Lab Director Leemann's letter that accompanies the PAC 30 report, he wrote: "One of the greatest pleasures I have as Director is seeing the new and exciting experimental proposals that come from our user community. The quality of these proposals is an indicator of the forefront scientific program that Jefferson Lab enables for its users, and this PAC was no exception. PAC 30 assessed the proposals and selected the highest impact and best science." The PAC approved 13 of the 12 GeV experiment proposals submitted, conditionally approved four, and 5 were deferred. Of the three proposals received for Hall B, one experiment was approved, one conditionally approved and one deferred.

The experiment proposals were considered with respect to their appropriateness for data-taking with the base equipment... with a 12 GeV beam, wrote Berthold Schoch, Jefferson PAC Chairman, in his letter introducing the PAC 30 report. "The PAC heard excellent talks covering a physics program that reflected almost a decade of discussions and preparations focused on the physics possibilities opened by ...11-12 GeV beam at JLab. The basis for those discussions has been the tremendous progress at the laboratory and in the community in both experiment and theory."

On the experimental side, he noted that JLab's implementation and reliable operation of highly polarized, intense beams and polarized proton and neutron targets, efficient proton recoil polarization capabilities and sophisticated detector systems are advancing new questions and opening new directions for investigation. He also commented on the precision of the data, which is inspiring new developments on the theory side.

"It has become a marvelous thing to come here to do experiments," Schoch said during the PAC closeout with the committee and senior Lab leadership.

During his comments, Schoch pointed out, "The Lab is in a different state; 12 GeV is underway. The excitement is growing, but it must stay strong." He and the rest of the committee were particularly pleased with the large number of young spokespersons who gave excellent presentations during the meeting. Schoch described them as "strong, intellectual, well-prepared scientists taking the lead in the future [with 12 GeV].... The proposals reflect this passion and intensity.... We had some ‘gold-plated' experiment proposals brought before us.... This is the program DOE is looking for."

He indicated that the proposals and letters of intent reflect the significant amount of work and coordinated effort between JLab and its user community and the Department of Energy on the base equipment package for the 12 GeV Upgrade.

At the end of the closeout, JLab Director Christoph Leemann expressed his gratitude to the PAC for their contributions to the Jefferson Lab nuclear physics program, especially PAC Chair Berthold Schoch and Serge Kox, who are rotating off the PAC. "Their dedication and involvement in the Jefferson Lab Physics program has made a real mark on our field. I wish them continued success in their research," Leemann said. He also announced Roy Holt as the new PAC Chair. Holt and Ed Kinney have both agreed to be part of the PAC process.

The Jefferson Laboratory Program Advisory Committee (PAC 31) will meet during the week of Jan. 29, 2007, to consider new proposals, updates, and letters of intent for experiments using presently available beams. Proposals for PAC 31 are due at Jefferson Lab by the close of business on Monday, Dec. 11, 2006. PAC 31 will also review the schedule for experiments in the three halls. As is the established tradition, the JLab Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will make comments on the technical viability of the proposals and provide these comments to the spokespersons and the PAC prior to the meeting. As always, proposals will be judged on the quality of the physics, technical feasibility, and the ability of the group to carry out the proposed measurements.

Legal update: How to maximize the return on intellectual property assets at Jefferson Lab (top ^)

A few years ago, the Legal office wrote an article to answer a few often-asked questions regarding intellectual property topics at Jefferson Lab. It's time to re-run those questions and answers and to respond to new queries.

Q. What do I have to do if I think my idea is patentable?

A. The first step requires that an inventor make a prompt disclosure to Jefferson Lab's General Counsel — using the Web-Based Invention Disclosure Form. You may access this form online at www.jlab.org/invent or through the JLab Technology Transfer webpage link to the JSA Invention Disclosure site. (You must register at the Jefferson Science Associates, LLC (JSA) Invention Disclosure website if you haven't previously logged onto the site. Contact Matt Thomas (mthomas@sura.org) at SURA, the web site's administrator, if you have any difficulties logging on or using the site.

The new online invention disclosure form asks the inventor(s) to describe the invention and discuss the problem that the invention is designed to solve. The inventor is then asked, by referring to any similar devices, to state the advantages of the invention and list the features of the invention that are novel. An accurately completed form usually has several attachments (including drawings if necessary) that can also be attached via the online form. The completed form must be signed and dated by the inventor(s), including the signatures of two witnesses who have read and understand the concepts presented on the form. This is currently handled via JLab's Legal office: providing the inventor a hard copy of the invention disclosure for signature; but future improvements will allow these signatures to be entered online as well. The entire process of disclosing inventions at JLab has always been user-friendly, and this online system is the latest step in improving the efficiency of the process.

Jefferson Lab's Technology Review Committee (TRC) includes: (back row, left to right) Howard Fenker, Chief Technology Officer and Committee Chair Fred Dylla, Matt Thomas, Ed Daly and Jim Boyce, and (front row, l. to r.) Rhonda Scales, Teresa Danforth and Kandice Carter.

JLab's Technology Review Committee

Fred Dylla Chief Technology Officer and Committee Chair Jim Boyce FEL Representative, Deputy Tech. Transfer Manager Rhonda Scales General Counsel Howard Fenker Physics Division Representative Ed Daly Accelerator Division Representative Teresa Danforth Administration Division Representative Kandice Carter Director's Office Representative Matt Thomas Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Non-voting Members Kathleen Duff Recorder

After this initial step by the inventor(s), the disclosure form undergoes review and processing. The Technology Review Committee (TRC), chaired by Chief Technology Officer Fred Dylla, makes an initial decision to pursue a patentability review of the invention, to proceed straight to prosecuting a patent application, or to return the invention to the inventor. If the patentability review is favorable, the committee must decide whether to pursue a patent by outside counsel. The TRC must consider the potential for successful commercialization in deciding whether or not to pursue patentability or to return the idea to the inventor(s). If the invention is returned to the inventor(s), they may pursue a patent, use the technology for their own business venture or seek commercial partners for further development. All of these decisions and other communications are provided via the online system for the inventor, including the most current status on all of an inventor's disclosures.

Q. If I disclose my idea by publishing it in a trade magazine, journal, on the Internet or by making some other public disclosure (i.e. conference, seminar), will I lose my right to a future patent?

A. Probably. Even though you have a 1-year grace period to apply for a U.S. patent after publication, most foreign countries don't allow for this 1-year grace period and U.S. law is soon changing to eliminate it as well. Any public disclosure prior to filing a patent application will prevent you from obtaining a patent in such foreign countries. JSA/JLab has begun filing foreign patent applications for those technologies meriting this extended coverage, so this aspect of protection may be very valuable with the prospect of licensing to private industry and acquiring international markets. Further, once publication has occurred, the idea becomes open to the world, and claiming rights to the invention may become a matter of a race to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Protecting rights to inventions is an important part of JSA/JLab's technology transfer program. However, the Lab's desire to protect an idea does not conflict with your desire to publish or the Lab's desire to develop cooperative research ventures. With the proper timing of an invention disclosure form, documentation, a patentability review, and obtaining confidentiality agreements, everyone's goals are achieved.

Q. Can employees use intellectual property developed here at the Lab for their own personal business ventures?

A. Maybe. Although an employee's request to use technology developed at the Lab can be a complicated proposition, procedures are in place to facilitate such requests and manage any conflict-of-interest issues. In order to respond to these concerns, as well as to make sure the general public has a fair opportunity to obtain the technology, the Lab's Technology Review Committee puts such employee requests through a rigorous process to ensure that the technology has been properly exploited and that private industry has a fair opportunity to compete for the same technology. Such requests also require Department of Energy (DOE) approval. (See the Conflicts of Interest provision under the Patent & Copyright Section of the JLab Administrative Manual, Section 701.C for details.)

Staff members who have properly disclosed their outside business activities to the Lab via an Outside Business Activities Request Form (see Admin. Manual Exhibit 208.03-1) may compete for a license or other form of technology transfer mechanism to obtain intellectual property developed onsite — just as any other company would. Regardless of whether an employee-inventor is licensed under this process, he/she is eligible to share in any royalties resulting from the licensing process.

Q. How does the Lab protect drawings, designs and computer software?

A. These forms of intellectual property are usually protected by a copyright, although they may also be protected under a patent or trademark if necessary. Technically, a copyright exists when a work is created. Registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is now optional. However, registration is usually highly recommended if the work is the subject of a license or has commercial viability. Additionally, since employees of the Lab work for a government-owned and contractor-operated facility, JSA must seek DOE's approval in order to perfect copyrights in works created by its employees.

Most of the drawings, diagrams and software developed at Jefferson Lab are not proprietary and do not have commercial value. Those works belong in the public domain and are accessible by the public for non-commercial purposes. (A release statement incorporating the "non-commercial" use of such works should accompany their publication and transfer.)

The latest results and current experiments now easy to find on JLab's web page (top ^)

Research Highlight summaries from physics experiments done at JLab by users and staff are now available from the first link in the left-hand column on  JLab's main web page. Tabs to select from include Public Interest research news, Nuclear Physics experimental and theoretical analyses, Accelerator research and technological developments, Free-Electron Laser (FEL) advancements and opportunities, and Medical Imaging work underway by JLab's Detector and Imaging Group.

And a brand new link "Current Experiments“ follows Research Highlights. This link presents information about the experiments running in the three basic physics halls - Halls A, B and C - at any given time. The new link also provides quick access to the running schedule for the accelerator and experimental halls.

Jefferson Lab 2007 Graduate Fellowship and Sabbatical opportunities (top ^)

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC (JSA), a Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) corporation, plans to award eight fellowships in March 2007 to doctoral program graduate students at SURA-member universities for research at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA. The application deadline is January 29, 2007. See the files links below for the application form and further details, or visit the SURA graduate fellowship web page.

JSA/Jefferson Lab Graduate Fellowship Application Form, 2007
2007 JSA/Jefferson Lab Graduate Fellowship Program
2007 JSA Sabbatical/Research Leave Support at Jefferson Lab

Share your holiday creativity: Enter the first annual Snowman Contest (top ^)

The Jefferson Lab Activities Group (JAG) invites everyone at the Lab to participate in the Decorate Your Snowman Contest this holiday season. The snowman/snowwoman decorating contest is being held this year instead of the office/door/cubicle decorating contest. Here are the rules:

-- Snowmen and their decorations (i.e. hat, etc.) may not be more than 6 feet tall.
-- No perishable items may be used for your snowman or its decorations (i.e. no food, ice, etc.).
-- No human snow people.
-- All entries must be self-standing.
-- All entries must be in place in the CEBAF Center Atrium by noon Friday, Dec. 8.
-- Contact Noel Vermeire, Staff Services, ext. 6930, or email vermeire@jlab.org to arrange for floor or table space for your entry. Large snowmen will sit on the floor and small entries will be put on tables.

The snowmen will be on display for the Children's Holiday Party on Dec. 9 and support the "Frosty's Playground" theme of the children's party.

Entries may be made by individuals or teams. Online voting to determine the winning snowman entry will take place Dec. 11-14. Everyone with a JLab computer account will be allowed one vote. Results will be posted on Dec. 15, and the winner will receive a prize.

Employees may still decorate their offices/doors/cubicles with nonflammable, nonperishable holiday decorations and UL-approved lighting. All electronic decorations must be turned off and unplugged over the Holiday Shutdown, and all decorations should be taken down by Jan. 5, 2007. Questions should be directed to J.T. Kelley, JAG Chair at jtkelley@jlab.org, or 269-7702.

JLab kids, parents: Join the fun at Frosty's Playground on Dec. 9 (top ^)

The JLab Children's Holiday Party – dubbed Frosty's Playground this year – is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CEBAF Center lobby. All children of Lab employees, contractors and users are invited to join in the fun. The JLab Activities Group (JAG) is planning crafts, games and a visit from Santa Claus for the event. Short holiday-themed videos will be shown in the auditorium.

Each family is asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy donation for the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots toy drive, and a finger food to share with the light refreshments that will be provided. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The party will begin with the Yorktown Fife & Drum Corps playing and local Boy Scouts conducting a flag-raising ceremony.

Volunteers are needed to help with set up, crafts, activities, showing videos, snack service and clean up. The volunteer sign up link is posted on the JAG page and on the Insight Front Page. Point of contact: J.T. Kelley, ext. 7702, or email jtkelley@jlab.org.

Toys for Tots toy drive gets underway at JLab (top ^)

The U.S. Marine Corps' 2006 Toys for Tots holiday toy drive is underway. Bring in your donation of new, unwrapped toys for children in the age range of 1-12 by Friday, Dec. 8. Local marines will pick up the toys to distribute to needy children after the JLab Children's Holiday Party Sat., Dec. 9. Drop boxes are located near the main entrances of CEBAF Center, VARC, ARC, Test Lab and Building 89 (on the Accelerator site).

Milestones (top ^)

For October 2006

Hello

Michael Barnes, Systems Administrator, Information Technology Division
Christopher Carlin, Cryogenic Target Tech Associate, Physics Division
Anthony Kram, Procurement Administrator, Administration Division
Todd Kujawa, Electrical Safety Engineer/EH&S Support, Environment, Safety, Health & Quality Division
Ethan O'Toole, Systems Administrator, Physics Division
Lester Richardson, Accelerator Operator, Accelerator Division
Errol Yuksek, Staff Mechanical Engineer, Accelerator Division

Goodbye

Geoffrey Barth, Staff Computer Scientist, Information Technology Division

These Milestone entries, listed alphabetically, are actions posted by Human Resources that took place during October 2006.

November Milestones

Hello

Patrick Collins, Office of Project Management Project Planner, Director's Office
Sarah Ingels, Public Affairs Specialist (casual), Director's Office
Huey-Wen Lin, Theory Group Post Doctoral Fellow, Chief Scientist's Office
Matthew Marchlik, FEL I&C Mechanical Student Intern, Free-Electron Laser Division
John McKisson, Imaging Data Acquisition Software Programmer, Physics Division
Christopher Miller, Computer Center Technical Student Intern, Information Technology Division
Brent Morris, Network Administrator, Information Technology Division
John Riesbeck, Fire Protection/Electronic Access Control Technician, Facilities and Logistics Management
Jacek Sekutowicz, Principal Superconducting Radiofrequency (SRF) Scientist, Accelerator Division
Armenak Stepanyan, Electronics Technician, Physics Division
Christopher Tennant, Staff Scientist, Accelerator Division

Changing Status

Robert Feuerback, formerly a Post Doctoral Fellow with the Physics Division, is now a JLab Visiting Research Scientist with the College of William and Mary

Goodbye

Brian Buss, Senior Skilled Trades, Accelerator Division
Jason Tracy, Student Intern, Accelerator Division

These Milestone entries, listed alphabetically, are actions posted by Human Resources that took place during November 2006.

Posted JLab Career Opportunities

There are currently more than 44 full time, term and temporary job positions listed on the JLab Career Opportunities webpage at http://www1.jlab.org/mis/jobline/. The positions include a range of activities in the Physics and Accelerator Divisions as well as support and administration.

DOE/EPA Release Top Fuel Economy Lists for 2007 Models (top ^)

During October, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2007 Fuel Economy Guide to help consumers make well-informed choices when purchasing new vehicles.

"Each year millions of Americans buy new cars, and by using fuel economy information, each consumer can make a more educated decision that will help conserve energy and save money," Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said. "In addition to looking at the miles-per-gallon rating, I would also encourage Americans to buy flex-fuel vehicles, which are also good for our economy because they use homegrown E-85."

"By fueling consumers with better information, EPA is helping U.S. motorists conserve their money while preserving our environment," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Steering our nation away from foreign oil dependency, President Bush is investing in energy innovations and bringing breakthroughs in fuel efficiency from the labs to the streets."

Data show that hybrid vehicles continue to lead the government's fuel economy ratings. This year's Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid FWD models top the list. Hybrid technology can be effectively used to improve fuel economy, as other models leading the list include the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Ford Escape 4WD Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD.

Fuel economy estimates, which appear on the window stickers of all new cars and light trucks prior to sale, are determined by tests that manufacturers and EPA conduct according to EPA specifications. This year's label values are based on the same test methods that have been used in recent years. However, to ensure these estimates continue to remain as reliable as possible, in February EPA proposed changing the methods to better reflect what drivers are experiencing on the road. EPA expects to finalize these changes in time to take effect with 2008 models.

The following online sources provide more fuel economy information:
-The joint DOE-EPA Fuel Economy website, http://www.fueleconomy.gov , offers detailed information on vehicle fuel economy, including a complete downloadable version of the Fuel Economy Guide.
-Comprehensive information about EPA's Fuel Economy program can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy.
-The Green Vehicle Guide website, http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles, provides browsers with a guide to locate the cleanest running and most fuel efficient vehicle that meets their needs.
-The 2007 fuel economy leaders within each class as well as the lowest fuel economy models are listed below and available at: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/overall-high.htm.

Department of Energy Releases Strategic Plan to Address Energy Challenges (top ^)

In October, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman released the Department's five-year strategic plan on the Department of Energy's role in powering and securing the United State's energy future. The plan addresses overall DOE goals for developing and deploying new clean energy technologies, reducing the nation's dependence on foreign energy sources, protecting the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, and ensuring that the U.S. remains competitive in the global marketplace. The Department's plan builds on President Bush's Advanced Energy and American Competitiveness Initiatives.

The Department's strategic plan seeks to deliver results along five strategic themes that include promoting the nation's energy security through reliable, clean, and affordable sources; ensuring U.S. nuclear security by transforming the nuclear weapons stockpile through development of Reliable Replacement Warheads that are safer and more secure; strengthening U.S. scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and improving quality of life through scientific innovations; protecting the environment through responsible resolution of weapons era waste; and strengthening the operations and management of the DOE.

The plan addresses the energy, environmental, and nuclear-security challenges facing the nation. The thrust of the plan is founded on innovation through science-driven development of new technologies. It outlines commitments to energy diversity and efficiency through a host of clean fuels and new technologies, including bold new initiatives in nuclear, coal, biomass, and solar energy as outlined in the President's Advanced Energy Initiative. It also renews and extends the DOE's commitment to the environment, both resolving legacy nuclear waste and supporting a future of cleaner energy. To meet the pledge to the national security interests of the United States, DOE's plan details a path that will ensure a reliable and responsive nuclear weapons stockpile and advance the goal of global nuclear non-proliferation.

The Department of Energy updates its strategic plan in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). To access DOE's 2006 Strategic Plan, go to http://www.energy.gov/about/strategicplan.htm.

DOE-Supported Researcher Is Co-Winner of 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics (top ^)

In early October, Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman congratulated Dr. George F. Smoot of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. John C. Mather of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for co-winning the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.

"I offer my congratulations to George Smoot and John Mather for their outstanding contributions to science, which are being recognized with the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics," Secretary Bodman said. "The groundbreaking work of these two American scientists showed us how to look back in time to the very infancy of our universe, so we might better understand how it came to be, and where it is going. They began a scientific journey that we are still on today, one I am sure that will lead to more amazing discoveries in the future."

The two American scientists were honored for leading the enormous teams of researchers, engineers and others who worked on the historic 1989 NASA COBE satellite experiment and measured its results. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the  2006 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to Dr. Mather and Dr. Smoot "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation." The Academy's news release announcing the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics noted that "the COBE results provided increased support for the Big Bang theory of the universe" and "also marked the inception of cosmology as a precise science."

"DOE takes particular pride in the contributions of George Smoot and our Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory," DOE Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach said. "The DOE Office of Science supported Dr. Smoot's research during the period in which he worked on the COBE experiment, and we continue to support him today. In addition, one of the principal instruments for the NASA COBE experiment used to make the discoveries was built at Berkeley Lab at facilities maintained by the Office of Science. This is an example of the scientific excellence that DOE supports."

The Department of Energy has sponsored 44 Nobel Laureates since DOE's inception in 1977 and a total of 84 Nobel Laureates associated with DOE and its predecessor agencies since 1934.

Department of Energy to Compete Management and Operating Contracts for Three Office of Science Laboratories (top ^)

On Nov. 17, 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its plans to compete the management and operating (M&O) contracts for three of its Office of Science national laboratories over the next 18 months. These competitions are part of DOE's policy to compete M&O contracts for DOE National Laboratories to ensure the greatest possible benefit to the Department of Energy and U.S. taxpayers.

The laboratories to be competed and their current M&O contractors are Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, Long Island, NY; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) operated by Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) operated by Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

The contract for BNL expires Jan. 4, 2008, and for SLAC Sept. 30, 2007. The PPPL contract expires Sept. 30, 2007, with provisions for up to 12 additional one-month extensions to Sept. 30, 2008, if required for an orderly selection process. Additional information about the competitive processes for the contracts to manage and operate each of these Laboratories will be announced when available.

Excluding the three laboratory contracts announced here, competitions for four contracts have been completed, and two are in progress. The four completed contracts are those for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Contract competitions are underway for Ames Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. For additional information on this DOE announcement, click here.